Putting on the Brakes!

IanToday, eight-year old Ian came for a rare weekday lesson.  I knew immediately he would be riding by lesson’s end.  His balance was great from the start.  Sometimes my help is very subtle.  Ian just needed to keep everything straight (including the front wheel) and not overcorrect too much.

Of course, I always teach turning, starting, and stopping as the lesson goes on.  I’ve always said that stopping has three steps (reverse the pedals on the coaster brake, be sure to hold it there, and [only then] put your foot down on the ground).  Once Ian was biking well with very little of my help, we worked on braking.  At this moment I was reminded I forgot to mention the precursor to breaking:  slowing down by coasting before putting on the brakes.  Ian was one of my first students to lay down a skid on the pavement when he braked for the first time.  Kinda cool, actually.  Ian’s a bit quiet, but he had a big smile after that fun feat.

At the end of the lesson, Ian had it all down (pretty quickly, actually).  I asked him to be honest answering the question:  When you arrived here, did you really expect to be riding a bike when you left?  Like many before him, he shook his head.  I told him that learning to ride a bike is a lot like many things in life, in general.  You might not think you can do it, but in reality, you can.  You just have to be brave and give it a try.

Congrats on becoming the Bike Whisperer’s newest cyclist, Ian!

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